Riot Games initially announced their plans of working on a fighting game that would be feature characters from the Legends of Legends universe in 2019. In a six-minute video early look video, the developers showed players a glimpse of the fighting mechanics and also showcased that Project L will be an assist-based fighting game meaning that players will be building a team of two champions who enter the ring to battle the opponent.
Revealed at EVO 2019, the 2.5D fighting game was titled Project L and had since seen no updates on the progress of game development until now. Last shown in October 2019, the game was still in the R&D phase and has since changed a lot.
Not only do gamers have control over both the characters wherein they can switch them at any moment during the battle but they would also be able to call in the second champion to assist them. Assist-based games were made famous by Marvel vs Capcom and Riot hopes to have its own take on it and take a step forward in the crowded fighting game landscape.
Easy to learn, hard to master
Developers Tom Cannon and Tony Cannon also shared their vision of making the game’s core based on “easy to learn, hard to master approach”. This guarantees that players are able to easily transition into playing new characters but those who spend time playing and understanding the mechanics of a champion are rewarded. They also said they want to set up a “steadily increasing learning curve” to separate the skill floor and skill ceiling.
Project L early look: Gameplay and Champions
The game features a standard 90-second match timer and the game keeps track of combos indicating how many hits connect with an opponent. There are also character-specific meters which indicate the possibility of supers but nothing of such sorts has been revealed as of now. The game is also going to feature Juggle limit, which keeps a check on how many counters can happen in the air.
Not all champions from LoL Runeterra are going to make their way to Project L and the ones that are added will also have additional abilities other than their standard kit to fit the gameplay style of Project L. Ekko with his new-found abilities is teased in the trailer, he has a “Chronos” attack and the ability to rewind time to counter his mistakes. The champions that are currently confirmed to join Project L are Ahri, Darius, Ekko, Jinx, and Katarina.
New Netcode System
Project L will be using a new and exclusive rollback netcode for making the online gaming experience smooth. The new system integrates Riot Direct to ensure lag-free input. While it is not confirmed, it seems highly likely that Riot will modify the recently open-sourced GGPO netcode which was developed by Tony Cannon who is currently working on the development of the game.
Project L Release Date
The game is still in an early stage and the gameplay shown is part of what the gaming industry calls “Vertical slice”. The game is far from completion and has no set release date for a beta or a complete launch. Cannon said, “Well we’re almost locked in on the stuff that makes a game a game (core gameplay, controls, art direction, etc.), but we still need to do things like build out a full roster of champions, design stages, add menus and user interfaces, create ranking systems, and more. “
What was promised though is regular updates on the development and progress that the game makes in the second half of 2022. This first in-depth look comes on the back of Arcane, the series premiering on Netflix. Riot is yet to specifically announce the availability of the game on mobile but it is expected to arrive with cross-platform support.
What are your thoughts about the early look video of Project L? Let us know in the comments below!